LK1K-5 system, Immensea region. On the 28th of June at 13:42 EVE the system saw a major conflagration as Legacy coalition and WinterCo clashed in a desperate fight that saw nearly 3,000 pilots fight to the death.
The battle was fought over the final reinforcement timer of the WinterCo’s staging Fortizar citadel. Legacy forces had reinforced the structure twice uncontested and were coming to finish off the structure once it became vulnerable. Considering the importance of the citadel and the stakes, both sides prepared to go all out.
Legacy coalition, spearheaded by Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] had prepared a massive armada to destroy the structure. Though exact numbers are not available, estimates put Legacy and allied forces at approximately 1250 pilots. Those pilots were split between a main Nightmare battleship fleet, a Cerberus heavy assault cruiser fleet, a combat carrier fleet and several skirmish fleets which included tactical destroyers, interceptors and electronic warfare frigates. Further in support were squadrons of stealth bombers and command destroyers. This armada was further supported by a Legion of xXDEATHXx [X.I.X] Ishtar heavy assault cruiser as well as an Imperium Cerberus and Jackdaw tactical destroyer fleets. In addition, both a dreadnought and super capital fleets were held in reserve.
The defenders headed by WinterCo put no less an impressive showing. WinterCo, working with Northern Coalition [NC], Pandemic Horde [REKTD], Triumvirate [TRI], League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY], skill urself [INGME], WE FORM V0LTA [GLHF] and Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) coalition scrounge an estimated 1070 pilots to defend the Fortizar. The pilots were split between a Machariel battleship fleet, a Tempest battleship fleet, an Ishtar fleet, a combat carrier fleet with several squadrons of long range dreadnoughts mixed in, and a super capital fleet. This force was supported by several skirmish fleets which includes Jackdaws, interceptors and electronic warfare frigates. They also assembled a moderate stealth bomber wing for the fight.
First in the system were the defenders. WinterCo had its fleets set up on the Fortizar with its various allies bridging in in interceptors then handed off their doctrine ships. Combat carriers, battleships and heavy assault cruisers un-docked and tethered to the structure, skirmish fleets and stealth bomber squadrons were set up around the structure for the upcoming carnage.
Legacy coalition bridged in its fleets a few minutes later, assembling them on top of a Fortizar Test Alliance Please Ignore already had in the system. The two citadels separated by only a few hundred kilometers of space. Nightmare, Cerberus and combat carriers as well as supporting skirmish fleets tethered together, waiting for the command to warp in and engage the hostiles. The Imperium and Legion of xXDEATHXx fleets would arrive later to the fight, using gates to enter the system before warping in range of the hostile citadel.
With Legacy coalition assembling on the hostile Fortizar below them, the defenders lit a cynosural beacon to let in its super capital fleet. Dozens of titans and supercarriers, supported by squadrons of force auxiliaries, materialized on the stricken citadel and tethered as well. Finally, everything was in place. Without further hesitation, Legacy forces warped in range of the Fortizar as the Legacy combat carriers launched their fighter squadrons and sent them forth from the safety of a Legacy citadel. The battle had begun.
The citadel had exited its reinforced mode. Immediately, the Nightmare fleet launched sentry drones and directed them to fire on the Fortizar, chipping at its hit points and denying it the opportunity to repair. With the Cerberus fleet in tow, the battleships focused their main weapons on the defenders. Beam laser batteries and artillery cannons fired on each other as Nightmares targeted the Tempests which returned fire, aided by the Machariels. Smaller fights soon broke as skirmish fleets engaged each other. Both sides’ electronic warfare fleets becoming prime targets for secondary fleets in order to diminish and even remove their influence from the battlefield.
The third arena of fighting was that of space superiority. Both sides deployed hundreds of fighters, many of them of the space superiority variety. The two swarms of fighters found each other amidst the battleships and heavy assault cruisers, engaging each other in desperate dogfights as they attempted to destroy each other. Entire fighter squadrons were destroyed with each passing minute as both sides fought desperately to de-fang their opponents, rendering their counterparts useless in the fighting.
The battle became a slow and murderous affair. With so much firepower on the field, logistics wings were completely ignored as mainline ships evaporated under the coordinated volley fire. Tempests and Nightmares evaporated under the continued barrage, with the Machariel fleet switching its focus to the Legacy Cerberus fleet. Within moments the heavy assault cruisers began dropping, the artillery cannons tracking them well enough even at such long ranges.
Stealth bomber squadrons swooped in, bombing hostiles and adding to the confusion. The defenders mainly employed the stealth bombers to clear clumps of sentry drones, thus relieving the citadel from the hostile fire so it may resume its self-repair countdown. Legacy stealth bombers targeted the hostile fleets, scoring hits that devastated skirmish wings.
Legion of xXDEATHXx soon joined the battle, warping in range of the WinterCo citadel and dropping new batches of sentry drones to target the structure. The alliance was given the task of keeping the pressure on the citadel. At the same time, the Legacy Cerberus fleet was suffering heavy losses. In a relatively rapid succession, heavy assault cruisers were destroyed, the fleet quickly decimated. The Nightmare fleet in comparison was able to hold its ground, trading rather equally with the WinterCo Tempest fleet as the two continued their long range duel.
On the space superiority front, Legacy coalition seemed to have gained the upper hand. WinterCo allied fighters were dropping faster than their Legacy counterparts. At times WinterCo lost two, even three fighter squadrons for each of Legacy’s squadron losses.
More Legacy reinforcements streamed to the field as the Imperium entered the fight, targeting the defending fleets and aiding in clearing much of the electronic warfare on the WinterCo’s side. However, for the Legacy Cerberus fleet, it was too late. Sustaining heavy losses, the fleet had no choice but to warp off or face complete annihilation. The heavy assault cruisers soon warped to a perch above the battlefield before warping off and conceding the field.
This left the Nightmare fleet in a precarious position. With the WinterCo allied super capitals on the field and the Cerberus flee gone, it soon became the focal point of the defenders’ firepower. The titans and supercarriers proved to be its greatest problem as the WinterCo allied titans had been fitted with long range weapons which were able to track and hit the fast Nightmares well enough. Add to it was the constant electronic warfare employed by the supercarriers which put further pressure on the Nightmare fleet.
By this point, the battle had been raging for a full hour with no signs of slowing down. While the Fortizar continued to receive damage, unable to continue its self-repair sequence, it was losing health at a snail’s pace. Worse yet, time dilation which from the onset had reached the dreaded 10% level was seemingly getting worse. Reports of module lag, fleet orders not going through and widespread disconnects became common. With the server’s performance seemingly degrading, there was a real possibility of a node crash, something which might play into WinterCo’s advantage.
The Nightmare fleet soon followed the Cerberus fleet to its perch above the battlefield. With the titans’ firepower proving deadly, the battleships attempted to warp off to consolidate before warping back in at a range which would nullify the titans’ tracking ability. However as they attempted to do just that, the fleet commander lost connection to the server. What more, the warp order didn’t reach all pilots, leaving quite a few battleships stranded as the rest of the fleet warped off. The defenders pounced on the opportunity, disposing of as many stragglers as they could.
Those that could, warped off and joined the main fleet at the perch. The fleet consolidated its ranks and with its fleet commander logging back and re-joining, the battleships prepared to return to the fight. At the same time, WinterCo directed its firepower at the hostile Ishtar fleet, attempting to push it out in order to stop the damage applied to the Fortizar. The titans, in particular, were called to aid stealth bombers in removing the hostile sentry drones.
The space superiority fight was also swinging to WinterCo’s side. After suffering heavy fighter losses, the coalition was able to exact a similar toll from Legacy forces. Part of the shift stemmed from the distance Legacy fighters had to fly from their citadel to the maelstrom. WinterCo had no such trouble, its combat carriers present in the thick of it. With this advantage, it didn’t take long for WinterCo to take control of the space superiority struggle. Seemingly, the defenders were taking control of the entire battle.
Legacy though wasn’t ready to concede just yet. The Nightmare fleet, having regained its commander, prepared to warp at long-range of the hostile battleships and continue the fight. The dreadnought reserves were also mobilized, the capital ships undocking in range of the system. It seemed like Legacy was ready to go all in. The Nightmare fleet initiated warp, but due to warp disruption probes present on the field exited warp near the Machariel fleet and in tracking distance of the hostile titans. In effect, it had landed in the worst place possible.
WinterCo seized on the opportunity and focused on the battleships. A brawl ensued as the Nightmare and Machariel fleets exchanged fire at close to medium range. The Nightmares attempted to pull away but were quickly hammered on all sides, the hostile battleship fleets bombarding it, aided by the titans. Fighting at such a position would have spelled the fleet’s doom. Instead of continuing the fight, Legacy commanders decided to retreat. The Nightmares beat a hasty retreat, WinterCo forces attempting to tackle as many fleeing vessels as possible.
With Legacy effectively driven out of the field, both the Imperium and Legion of xXDEATHXx fleets became the focus of the defenders. The Ishtar fleet kept losing sentry drones to WinterCo bombing runs and skirmishing fleets, and with Legacy forces no longer engaging the main WinterCo defense fleet, chose to retreat as well. The Imperium fleets also attempted to withdraw, the Cerberus fleet getting away with relatively few losses but the Jackdaw fleet was less lucky. It lost nearly half its mainline ships in the battle, the rest managing to escape the slaughter.
With the field effectively under WinterCo’s control, the coalition and its allies cleared the last hostiles. Legacy coalition for its part extracted its combat carriers and surviving fleets, leaving the system in WinterCo’s hand. With no more hostile interference, the Fortizar managed to complete its self-repair countdown and regenerate its armor and shields, thus securing the objective for WinterCo. With this, allied fleets began to depart the system, capitals and super capitals jumping out to forward staging bases while allied sub capitals docked up and re-shipped to interceptors, beginning the long trek home.
Thus the main fight for the LK1K-5 WinterCo staging Fortizar came to an end, though fighting would persist afterward as scavengers descended on the wreckage.
An overview of the battle
All told the battle raged for 2 solid hours with Time Dilation being a constant issue, remaining at 10% throughout the fight and causing a range of phenomenons such as module lag, broadcast disruption and disconnects. The system itself hosted an estimated 2,700 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Winter Coalition and allies lost a combined total of 341 ships including but not limited to 2 dreadnoughts, 10 combat carriers, 60 battleships and 16 heavy assault cruisers for a sum total of 78.78 billion ISK.
Legacy Coalition and its allies lost a combined total of 444 ships including but not limited to 2 combat carriers, 83 battleships and 77 heavy assault cruisers for a sum total 124.45 billion ISK.